Training a developer to fill a management role

Laurent Le Jariel

CTO at http://www.fujaco.com/



"My company was growing so quickly, and I needed to change the team's structure. I needed to add another layer of management, to build a more bureaucracy-like organization. However, I came to the realization that there was nobody in my team of seven people who was able to take the lead, as none of the team members had leadership skills."

Actions taken

I decided to hire a senior developer to fill this role. When I offered the developer the role I made it clear that while he would be hired as a developer, he would be given an opportunity to fill a management role. The developer didn't immediately have leadership skills, but I spent eight months training him for the role before making an official announcement that he was going to become the team's manager. Firstly, this allowed me to ensure that he was a good fit for the role. In addition, by having him work with the team for a while, and by showcasing his experience, the developer was able to gain a natural legitimacy in the eyes of the team, and convince them he was the right guy for the job. This ensured that the team was very happy when the developer was promoted to a managerial position.

Lessons learned

"It's difficult to let somebody else do what you used to do before. When you become a manager, you have to accept that you won't keep a tight control of everything. It is essential to take the time to delegate your job properly." "People often underestimate the impact that a new layer of management can have. As a manager, when you transition from managing engineers to managing managers, you stop communicating directly with previous direct reports and it may take some time to get used to it."

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Laurent Le Jariel

CTO at http://www.fujaco.com/

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyEngineering ManagementCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill DevelopmentRoles & TitlesTraining & MentorshipTeam & Project Management

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